The Miami Hurricanes are returning to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2016.
The Canes ran Auburn out of the building 79-61, outscoring the Tigers by 17 points in the second half. Miami was just dominant on both sides of the ball, with their transition offense on full display from the start. They won the turnover battle 13-4 and turned those takeaways into a 30 to 1 advantage in fast break points. Thirty. To. One.
Isaiah Wong led the way with 21 points and added 6 rebounds, but it was his thunderous dunk over Auburn superstar Jabari Smith that blew up the internet.
ISAIAH WONG! THE DUNK OF THE TOURNAMENT! pic.twitter.com/td8uD90P0r— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) March 21, 2022
Kam McGusty and Charlie Moore also were all over the floor and did just about everything you could imagine. McGusty tallied 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a game-high 4 steals. Charlie Moore added 15 points, 9 (!!!) rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals. Jordan Miller, who finished with 12 points, came out hot and jump started the Canes to an early lead. Just an incredible all-around performance from the entire group of guards.
I talked about the keys to the game being 1) limiting opportunities in the post for Auburn, 2) being strong in their transition offense, and 3) winning the turnover battle. Check, check, and check. The latter two were obviously achieved, and Miami did a GREAT job of keeping Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler from having any kind of offensive presence in the paint. Smith finished with just 10 points on 3 of 16 shooting. Just a masterful defensive gameplan that frustrated the Tigers for 40 minutes.
Miami will face 11 seed Iowa State in Chicago this week in the Midwest Regional semifinal. We will have much more on that game coming up this week on State of the U. For the meantime, get in the comments and celebrate this incredible achievement.
This team had 6 healthy scholarship players a year ago. Now they’re in the Sweet 16. Just. Freaking. Unbelievable.
UPDATE: per Barry Jackson, Miami-Iowa State will tip off around 9:45 pm Friday night on TBS.